O2 and T-Mobile agree LTE network sharing in Czech Republic

Czech mobile operators O2 and T-Mobile have agreed to share their LTE networks in a bid to accelerate coverage improvements in the market this year. The deal follows a similar agreement signed between the two operators relating to their 2G and 3G networks in November last year.

Operator group Telefonica announced the sale of its majority share in its O2 Czech operation to local investment group PPF in November, along with its Slovakian subsidiary, as part of a wider strategy to exit non-core markets. Meanwhile, T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom went the opposite way, acquiring the 39.23 per cent stake in its Czech subsidiary that it did not already own for €800m in February this year.

In November, the two operators announced they would begin commercially sharing their 2G and 3G networks in the first half of this year; the firms already shared almost 1,000 3G sites. They will begin sharing their LTE networks in the second half of the year, although the deal excludes the cities of Brno and Prague.

O2 will run and maintain the network on the East side of the country while T-Mobile will be responsible for the West. At launch, both operators will offer data speeds of up to 75Mbps, with a view to upgrading the network in due course to provide faster services.

The two operators added that they will continue using their own core network infrastructure and do not intend to collaborate on business strategies. They added that their latest agreement allows them to meet coverage requirements set in the country’s latest spectrum auction ahead of schedule.

The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

“Thanks to this agreement, we will bring fast mobile internet to Czech customers in a very short time – both in rural and urban areas of the country,” said Luis Malvido, CEO of O2 Czech Republic. “A shared network is also a European trend, as evidenced by similar successful projects in the UK, Sweden or France.”

Milan Vašina, CEO of T-Mobile Czeh Republic added that the agreement will also bring cost savings that will the operators to further invest into their networks and services.

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